John McEnroe: In the Realm Of Perfection

John McEnroe: In the Realm Of Perfection

(L'empire de la perfection)

Cinema lies. Sport does not.

Documentary using archival footage turns the athleticism of John McEnroe into meditative choreography, shot while competing in the 1984 French Open.... More

"France’s national sports archive holds a wealth of 16mm footage of John McEnroe’s virtuosic Paris matches. The vintage instructional films were shot to provide coaches and players with insight into his technique. While it’s true that McEnroe’s skills and agility are on display, the films also reveal much about his temperament, including his infamous temper tantrums. Director Julien Faraut hasn’t made a straightforward sports documentary though; for instance, we rarely see the player at the other end of the court. Rather, Faraut’s film riffs on French film theory and includes animation, movie clips, slow-motion sequences, and a delightfully amusing narration by Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)." (Sydney Film Festival)Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • "Perfection" at times risks being too pleased with itself for its own good, but its one-of-a-kind credentials are never in doubt. Full Review

  • The guy's wildly temperamental tennis would never be my first choice for such an acutely cinematic undertaking. But Mr. Faraut knows what he's doing. Full Review

  • Regardless of his enemy, the main event was McEnroe vs. McEnroe, in an unresolvable tiebreak of body and soul. There had been nothing like it, on public view, since the heyday of James Dean. Full Review